That the mainstream media leans overwhelmingly to the Left has long been known; that it shares the hard Left’s taste for authoritarian controls on the freedom of speech has not been so widely noted, but is becoming increasingly clear. Last week both the British Guardian and the New York Daily News published pieces equating truthful and accurate reporting about jihad violence and Islamic supremacism with “hate speech,” and calling for such reporting to be placed beyond the bounds of acceptable public discourse. That restrictions on free speech might come to harm their own profession is apparently something they haven’t considered.
After dismissing concerns about jihad and Islamization as “fearmongering,” Nathan Lean in the Daily News offered a strikingly statist remedy: “Society has a responsibility to counter these individuals with overwhelming overtures of pluralism — and to systematically push the fearmongers out of public discourse. … Judicial systems must absorb the true scope of the Islamophobia industry’s rhetoric and rage.” How “society” was to go about identifying “fearmongers” accurately and then “systematically” driving them out of the “public discourse” Lean did not explain, but since he envisioned “judicial systems” being involved, he seems to be calling for the arrest and prosecution of those whose opinions about Islam he dislikes.
Just as disquieting was Jonathan Freedland’s Guardian piece, in which he decried hateful speech against Muslims, describing it as “racism, of the crudest kind,” and then added: “but the subtler ones are not much better.” For Freedland these “subtler” forms of racism include attempts to “dress up in progressive, Guardian-friendly garb – slamming Islam as oppressive of gay and women’s rights, for example – but the thick layer of bigotry is visible all the same.”
Brendan O’Neill in the Telegraph rightly described this as an “explicit conflation of racial prejudice and political opinion, a mashing together of what we can all agree is irrational hatred of Muslims with what is surely just criticism of Islam. Now, you may agree or disagree with the idea that Islam is repressive of women and gays, but it is an idea nonetheless, a view some individuals have arrived at after thinking about various issues. To lump such an outlook together with abusive terms like ‘goatf**ker’, as if they both come from the same spectrum of racial hatred, is a see-through attempt to demonise certain political ideas by branding them racist.”
Significantly, Lean’s call for the silencing of dissenting voices and Freedland’s “see-through attempt to demonise certain political ideas” coincide perfectly with the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation’s ongoing campaign to compel Western states to criminalize criticism of Islam, including discussion of Islamic violence and supremacism. The objective of this campaign, of course, is to render Western countries mute and hence defenseless against the advancing jihad.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC’s secretary general, has for years made no secret of this campaign. The OIC has long been dedicated to getting the United Nations to approve a “legal instrument” that would criminalize “Islamophobia.”
This campaign has achieved remarkable success, even short of such a “legal instrument.” Last week, Canadian journalist Brian Lilley lamented that even law enforcement authorities are reluctant to call things by their right names: “Police bust an Islamic terror cell, people that plan to blow up a building or shoot others in the name of Islam, and yet police will not say the words Muslim, Islam or any variant thereof. Even when the people arrested have clearly stated their goal is to carry out an attack in the name of Islam, police will not use the M word or the I word.”